Very Quick Comments: Bears at Packers 11/27/15

Both the best and the worst thing about watching football on Thanksgiving is that you get to watch it with family. Surrounded by almost 20 of the closest people in the world to me, many of whom grew up watching football with me, is one of the greatest pleasures I get all year. But concentrating completely on the game and taking notes was simply impossible. I might as well have been watching in the middle of a hurricane. So my notes on this wonderful Bears victory will be brief and to the point if for no other reason than I don’t have as much as usual to say.


  1. The Packers game plan was clear from the outset and they never deviated from it. Play three wide receivers, thus forcing the Bears into nickel, then obliterate them and wear them down with Eddie Lacy up the middle over and over and over again. Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, on the other hand, must be one of the most stubborn men on earth. As with Adrian Peterson two weeks before, he flat out refused to do anything special to stop Lacy.  This was the battle of wills that was waged all night. Lacy had over a hundred yards rushing but it wasn’t enough.
  2. Give the defensive backs a lot of the credit for this win. Though Lacy continually took chunks of yardage up the middle, whenever Aaron Roger dropped back to pass, it was a tough exercise. Over and over again Rogers made time with his feet as he avoided the pass rush. And over and over again, right down to the last play, he still could not find open receivers. It was a wonderful display by a unit that, at least up until now, I didn’t consider to have much talent. Like a lot of things about this team, I’m now going to have to re-assess this.


  1. As most regular readers know, I’m not much of a Jay Cutler fan. Repeatedly over a period of ten years, Cutler has flat out quit in tough games, especially in Lambeau. He’s still the guy who quit on Denver so long ago.  And he’s still the guy as late as last year who gave up against New Orleans to the point where he was actually benched for the now departed Jimmy Clausen.
    But fair is fair. This is the game that I was pointing to all year as Cutler’s watershed. Based upon past history, it’s exactly the type of game he should have collapsed in. When the Packers came out swinging, confused him, put a lot of pressure on him, and forced him to throw a near interception early in the first quarter, I thought that’s what was going to happen. The offense started with repeated three and outs and I was convinced the Packers were going to wear the courageous Bears defense down to a nub.It didn’t happen. Cutler hung in there and the Bears re-grouped. It was ugly but they managed to possess the ball and keep the defense off the field. And it was largely due to Cutler and his mobility and the fact that he kept calm and adjusted.It’s going to be very hard to continue to trash Cutler from here on out. This was a big game for him.
  2. Give credit to some of the lesser known receivers who stepped up in this game. Marquess Wilson and Marc Mariani both had big catches throughout the game. Due largely to their efforts along with the return of Alshon Jeffery, the Packers had a great deal of trouble getting the Bears off of the field on third and long, especially late. Wonderful job.
  3. The Bears offensive line had a tough time handling the Packer defensive line. I credited a lot of the Packers success Sunday against the Vikings to the deplorable state of the Minnesota offensive line. But the Packer defensive line is pretty good and the battle in the trenches was enjoyable to watch. The Bears had just over 100 yards rushing. Not as good as you’d like but also not a complete shutdown.


  1. Want to know why Cris Collinsworth is the best color man in the game? Look no further than the wonderful job he did pointing out how the Packers defensive linemen were shooting inside to beat the Bears on stretch running plays. I’m convinced that there are few others that would have picked it up despite the obvious penetration that the Packers were getting.
  2. Special teams weren’t good enough. They allowed at least one huge run back that set the Packers up and the Bears 30 yard line. You can’t ordinarily get away with that against the Packers anywhere, especially in Lambeau.
  3. If you had told me that the Bears were going to win a game against the Packers where they had 12 penalties to their three, I would have refused to believe it. The officiating left a lot to be desired but to be fair, the poor calls were on both sides. The Bears aren’t going to get away with that often.
  4. As is their habit, the Packers had a lot of drops. They’re finding it harder to overcome them than usual this year. Jeremy Langford had a particularly tough time catching the ball in this game. If it was the rain, he’d better learn to adjust. He’s got a lot of wet football ahead of him.
  5. Not surprisingly, the two Packer turnovers were huge in this game. In contrast to last Sunday, the Bears didn’t have one. This is especially notable in regard to Cutler. Nice work, there.
  6. I’m in the state of shock and its not going to go away any time soon. Time after time I would watch Eddie Lacy carve out huge chunks of yardage and shake my head.  But then I’d look up at the scoreboard and the Bears were still ahead.  Honest to heaven, I still can’t figure out how it happened.
  7. Up until this game, my assessment of the Bears has been one of a talent deficient but well-coached team, especially on defense. But how talent-deficient can they possibly be and still beat the Packers in Lambeau?  It’s obvious that I’m going to have to spend some time re-assessing this team. I’d still like to see more but based upon the last two games against two of the better teams in the league, I might be under-estimating them.


Quick Game Comments: Broncos at Bears 11/22/15



  1. The Bears came out trying to run from the start with a triple tight end set. The Broncos were having none of it and did a good job stopping the it. I thought maybe the Bears had slightly more success once they started to spread the Broncos out more in the second quarter. But they still weren’t able to do it well and I’d say the Broncos did a pretty good job overall. this was a big key to the game. The Bears need to run the ball.
  2. The Bears lost the line of scrimmage. Not only could they not run but Jay Cutler was under a fair bit of pressure. It wasn’t a horrible effort. But it needed to be better. Jay Cutler did a marvelous job of moving around in the pocket to avoid pressure.
  3. Cutler found receivers over the middle early on third downs to keep the chains moving. This was apparently a weakness that the Bears identified and tried to take advantage of.
  4. The Broncos had obviously done their homework. They were all over Bears screens that have been a staple in recent weeks.
  5. In addition to taking advantage of the Broncos over the middle, I thought the Bears managed to et in a number of good deep throws against the Broncos, who were likely concentrating on taking away the shorter throws the Bears have been living off of lately.
  6. Martellus Bennett once again didn’t have a good game. He was missing catches that he really should be making. His concentration has been off for some time, now. He did draw three big pass interference calls but the Bears need more from Bennett with Alshon Jeffery not on the field.


  1. The Broncos came out running the ball very successfully. This set up the play action pass nicely and Brock Osweiler scored their first touchdown by sucking the linebackers in on such a pass.
  2. The Bears flat out lost the line of scrimmage this game against the run.
  3. The Broncos came out and took advantage of their speed and really beat the Bears linebackers in coverage. The Bears weren’t horrible. Just not good enough.
  4. The Bears did get pressure on Osweiler. Sometimes it was rushing straight up but they also brought the blitz with some success. They weren’t fancy blitzes by any stretch but the Broncos didn’t handle them well. Osweiler could have gotten rid of it quicker under pressure but most of the problems weren’t really his fault. His linemen were getting beat.
  5. Osweiler looked reasonably accurate. He does have a habit of staring down receivers that might come back to burn him but he makes good decisions. He’s got a good deep ball. He’s not exactly a young Peyton Manning but he looks like a pretty good pro quarterback to me.
  6. This was what the Broncos want their offense to look like. Osweiler was under center the whole time. There was no compromise as there has been with making Peyton Manning more comfortable at quarterback.
  7. Kudos to the Bears on a few defensive stands that took some back bone to make over the course of the game.


  1. Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and Evan Washburn did a nice job. I really like Fouts, who I think does a good job of breaking down the important plays to let you know exactly what happened and why. Too bad he works for a network that runs commercials mostly for shows targeted at people my parent’s age (that’s pretty old).
  2. Deonte Thompson replaced Marc Mariani as the kick return man. they continued to use Mariani as a punt returner. Omar Bolden made a terrible mistake by letting a kickoff hit the ground in the end zone. It bounced back and dribbled out. The Broncos got the ball at the two yard line. Other than that there weren’t many obvious miscues.
  3. This was a relatively clean game with few penalties for the Broncos and none for the Bears. There was a big thirty yard pass interference call against Brandon Marshall on Martellus Bennett that hurt the Broncos pretty badly in the fourth quarter. Bennett drew two more against Aquib Talib Bradley Roby after that. The Bears were very fortunate not to get a personal foul penalty after both Willie Young and Jarvis Jenkins hit Osweiler after he gave himself up for a sack with two minutes left.
  4. Except for some catches that Martellus Bennett really should have made, I’d say drops weren’t a big part of this game on either side. Jeremy Langford had a drop in the fourth quarter that also didn’t help the Bears offensive effort.
  5. Jay Cutler threw an interception to Danny Trevathan. It’s not a defense but in a way it was understandable. Trevathan, a linebacker, was on a wide receiver in Marquess Wilson. So it’s usually the throw you make. The Broncos got the ball deep in Bears territory. It resulted in no points as the Bears defense came up big and stopped the Broncos on fourth down from the two yard line. Cutler almost threw another one in the fourth quarter to Bradley Roby but Roby dropped it. Then Von Miller stripped the ball from Cutler from behind and Malik Jackson caught it for a second interception.
  6. I thought it was an indication of the progress that the Bears have made that they were competitive in this game. They played well against another team with more talent who was also playing reasonably well. If they had done more offensively with the ball on the Denver side of the field, this could well have been a victory. A very respectable outing overall and, considering the talent gap between the teams, there was a lot to be happy about here.

Quick Comments: Bears at Rams 11/15/15


  1. The Rams came out with the expected game plan. Lots of short passes to the tight end and the running back out of the backfield to take advantage of the Bears lack of speed at linebacker. They also tried to run the ball with star rookie Todd Gurley. As with Adrian Peterson last week, the Bears didn’t really stack the box in an effort to stop him unless the formation indicated a power run.
  2. You have to like how the Rams try to use misdirection with Tavon Austin. Teams like the Bears have to be aggressive to stop Gurley. That makes them susceptible to that.
  3. Willie Young did a good job of showing up in place of the injured Pernell McPhee. He was around the quarterback a lot and made some good plays in the running game. Generally speaking the Bears got pressure on Nick Foles and that helped the Bears coverage a lot.
  4. Another thing that helped the Bears coverage, Foles did not impress me today. His accuracy was very poor and he often failed to hit the men that got open. The Bears jumped the short routes with little apparent regard for Foles ability to throw the ball deep. That Foles trade for Sam Bradford isn’t looking good right now.
  5. The Rams used Wes Welker sparingly and almost entirely on third down. They usually tried to throw it to him short of the sticks and let him run for the first down with only limited success.
  6. Kudos to Bryce Callahan who had a pretty good day today.  Tracy Porter had a good day in coverage, too.
  7. Kudos also to Lamarr Houston with another sack, too, but I’d like to see it at some point when the whole stadium doesn’t know the Rams have to pass.


  1. The Bears came out with their usual ball control game plan. Lots of short passes and runs with Jeremy Langford. The Rams are pretty tough up front and they generally did a decent job of stopping the run.
  2. The Bears offensive line had their hands full against the Rams front. I thought they lost the line of scrimmage in the run game. They did better in pass protection but Jay Cutler still got knocked around pretty good. Aaron Donald dominated the Bears guards at times. Donald is a star but this highlights the need for interior offensive linemen in the offseason.
  3. Part of the reason why Cutler got knocked around was the Rams tendency to blitz. The Bears took full advantage of the tendency, catching the Rams in a blitz for big plays and two of their touchdowns in the first half, one by Jeremy Langford and one by Zack Miller. the Bears used the screen game to good effect.
  4. Zack Miller with another impressive run for a touchdown early this week. He was helped a great deal by some poor tackling on the part of the Rams. Miller had a heck of a day with another touchdown in the second quarter. The sky’s the limit as long as he stays healthy.
  5. It’s a good thing that Miller showed up because Martellus Bennett looked a little sluggish to me today.
  6. Whatever you say about Ka’Deem Carey, he runs hard. Gotta love that.
  7. Jay Cutler took off on a read option for 26 yards in the third quarter that had everyone in the building fooled. Adam Gase was on the ball with the play calling today.
  8. Another thing the Bears have been doing with some success if stacking receivers. It’s been confusing the coverage allowing guys to pop open behind little crosses at the line of scrimmage.


  1. I didn’t have a tough time with Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker and Steve Beuerlein. They didn’t teach me much but they weren’t afraid to be critical of anyone with the exception of Jay Cutler. They spent a lot of time kissing Cutler’s rear, making me wonder if someone was related to him.
  2. Robbie Gould was coming off of three straight field goal misses. He hit his field goals today, though. Gould’s kickoffs were pretty deep for once as well. The Bears return teams were poor, leaving the offense with bad field position for much of the game. Bears coverage teams did a good job containing Tavon Austin. Their extra discipline in holding to their lanes and doing their jobs was evident. The Rams weren’t bad on special teams but they tried a fake punt from their 20 yard line in the fourth quarter that failed. To their credit, the Bears looked ready for it. The resulting field goal put the game out of reach.
  3. The Rams spent most of this game just killing themselves with terrible penalties. The Bears, on the other hand, didn’t have any until Alan Ball got called for a stupid unsportsman-like conduct penalty. The Bears had more than their share but nothing like St. Louis. That was a large part of the difference in the game.
  4. Foles’s receivers didn’t help him much with a lot of drops in the game. Foles wasn’t accurate but some of those balls should have been caught.
  5. The teams traded turnovers early with a muffed punt by Marc Mariani followed by a fumble by Tre Mason, both in the first quarter. Each turned in to only a field goal. Willie Young got a nice late interception. Ka’Deem Carey fumbled the ball away in garbage time, as well.
  6. They say that the vast majority of the time, you don’t have teams win a game. Its the other team that loses it. I’m starting to get a good idea why the Rams aren’t doing better despite their talent. That team has the worst discipline of any team I’ve seen all year. The penalties were awful. The drops were inexcusable. Nick Foles looks totally incapable of completing a long pass. Not that the Bears didn’t play a good, game. They did and all credit to them. They made plays and the played a good clean game. But bottom line the Rams handed this game to the Bears on a platter. The Bears only had to accepted it. To their credit, they did.

Game Comments: Bears at Chargers 11/9/15

monday-night-football-bears-vs-chargers-score-results Offense

  1. Though it wasn’t all through the air, the Bears spread it out a bit more than usual early with fewer double tight end sets and with Martellus Bennett in the back field rather than right at the line of scrimmage. The Bears apparently wanted to use the pass to set up the run tonight. I thought they ran the ball a bit more in the second half.
  2. The Bears offensive line was doing a good job of moving the San Diego defensive line in the run game. They won the line of scrimmage for the most part tonight.
  3. Martellus Bennett had a good game. He looked like he reacted by coming back to play full speed after catching some criticism last week for his low numbers in the passing game.
  4. The Chargers used line stunts to try to get pressure on Jay Cutler with limited success. It’s probably something the offensive line needs to work on.
  5. The Chargers also liked to blitz, especially on third down. The Bears went to the screen game in response with some success in the second half. Jeremy Langford did a good job picking up the blitz as well.
  6. That was a wonderful long catch by Jeremy Langford to pick up a first down in the first quarter. He’s appears to have good hands. Langford had a good night.
  7. Jason Verrett played an excellent game as he shut down Alshon Jeffery and had an interception for a touchdown. Once Jeffery ended up on Steve Williams in the second quarter the Bears tried to feed him with some success.
  8. If Jeffery had a good night, it would have been nice to have seen Marquess Wilson have a better one along side him. He had a tough time getting open against man coverage.
  9. That was a wonderful play action pass call on the one yard line to get Martellus Bennett a touchdown in the second quarter.
  10. Magnificent catch by Zach Miller for what turned out to be the game winning touchdown.


  1. San Diego was winning the line of scrimmage early with their offensive line. Bears linebackers were having a hard time getting off blocks.
  2. The Bears had a tough time getting pressure on Philip Rivers and eventually resorted to doing more blitzing than usual with limited success.
  3. The Bears may have gotten a little more pressure on Rivers in the third quarter and there were more tipped passes which makes me wonder if the Bears coaches didn’t say something about getting their hands up on the line of scrimmage at half time. TO my eye, Willie Young came out with some fire. He may be seeing a chance to show the coaches something with poor play o that side by Sam Acho.
  4. Speaking of Acho, that was a bad blown coverage on Danny Woodhead to give up a San Diego touchdown in the first quarter.
  5. San Diego took advantage of the Bears linebackers by sending their running backs out into patterns from the backfield. The Bears had a tough time handling it.
  6. The Bears defensive backs didn’t fare much better than the linebackers in coverage as there appeared to be big gaps on occasion for the Chargers to take advantage of. The Bears appear to me to play particularly poor zone defense, perhaps because they lack speed.
  7. Melvin Gordon is a huge disappointment to me. Going into the NFL draft I thought he might have been even better than Todd Gurley. But he looks like an average back with average vision to me right now.
  8. Does Philip Rivers ever shut up?
  9. With a lot of injuries the Chargers certainly welcomed a good performance from Antonio Gates.
  10. The defense really came through with some nice plays on the last San Diego possession. A couple nice sacks on the last drive by Lamarr Houston. I wish he wouldn’t celebrate like that…


  1. These have to be two of the worst special teams units in football. Robbie Gould missed a field goal in the first quarter and in the third quarter. The ball may have been tipped on the first one. San Diego missed an extra point in the second quarter. There was also a poor punt by Mike Scifres late in the second quarter.
  2. This was a sloppy game with too many penalties on both sides. San Diego had an illegal formation in the first quarter. Matt Slauson had a false start with the ball at the 10 yard line near the beginning of the second quarter. Lamarr Houston had an offsides penalty in the second quarter and a bad one in the fourth quarter on the final San Diego drive. That was followed by an offensive pass interference, a holding call and a false start as San Diego shot themselves in the foot. Kyle Long got a stupid unsportsman-like conduct penalty late in the second quarter to take the Bears out of field goal range. Long also had a holding penalty that the Bears could ill afford late in the third quarter with the team down nine points. Jarvis Jenkins had a killer roughing the passer penalty to put the Chargers in field goal range on the drive to end the first half. Stevie Johnson had a terrible delay of game penalty in the fourth quarter with the Chargers in the red zone after he spiked the ball in the field of play. That was followed by a damaging ineligible man down field penalty by D.J. Fluker that took a touchdown off the board. Those penalties arguably cost the Chargers the game in the end.
  3. Dropped passes weren’t really a factor.
  4. It wasn’t a good night for Cutler as far as turnovers are concerned. A Cutler fumble on the 20 yard line gave the ball to San Diego and ruined a trip into the red zone in the second quarter. In the same quarter the Bears recovered a fumble in San Diego territory but Cutler threw it back to them for a pick six.
  5. Jay Cutler giveth and Jay Cutler taketh away in what was really a sloppy game on both sides tonight. Too many turnovers and far too many penalties, especially on the San Diego side of the field. The Bears continue to have coverage issues in the defensive backfield and, especially, with their linebackers and I think we can expect to see plenty of short passes, especially to running backs out of the backfield, in the near future. It wasn’t pretty but a win is a win.


Quick Game Comments: Vikings at Bears 11/1/15


  1. Kyle Fuller was given the assignment of covering Vikings break out wide receiver Stephon Diggs for a good part of this game though Tracy Porter did have him on occasion. Both did a reasonable job all in all. Diggs finally beat Sherrick McManis for a long touchdown in the fourth quarter. I’m not sure how the Vikings managed to manipulate the match ups but Diggs ended up with 96 yards on 6 receptions, much of that in the fourth quarter when neither Fuller nor Porter were covering him.
  2. Undrafted Bryce Callahan was the nickel back instead of Sherrick McManis, who has been burned too often lately. He did OK.
  3. The Bears had a hard time getting pressure on Bridgewater against a porous Viking offensive line with their for man rush. They did have some success on occasion with the blitz.
  4. Significantly, the Bears, though obviously keying on Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, weren’t stacking the box to stop him. It looked to me like they were getting mauled at the line of scrimmage in the running game and Peterson had a good game at 103 yards on 20 carries. Some good linebacker play and some timely blitzing did help cover a lot of problems on the defensive line. When you look at the score, you can’t really fault them. They did something right.
  5. For most of two quarters the Bears couldn’t sniff out a screen pass on third down for the life of them. They finally seemed to get the picture about half way through the second quarter.
  6. Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater wasn’t holding the ball too long as often this week as he did last week against the Lions. He was generally getting rid of the ball quick and relying on Adrian Peterson to run against a Bears defense that refuses to stack the box against him. Like his opposite on the Bears sideline, he could have been more consistent. there were a lot of miscommunications between Bridgewater and the receivers.


  1. The Bears came out in a double tight end set. Despite that, they weren’t running much out of it to begin the game. Apparently they thought their tight ends were a mismatch for Matt Forte and their tight ends in the passing game. They probably thought they could set up the run later.
  2. The offensive line was patchwork this week but despite that I wouldn’t say they had a horrible game. Patrick Omameh started at right guard, and Vladimir Ducasse could moved to the left guard spot. Charles Leno gave up a sack and they had a hard time pulling and getting out in front of outside runs but overall it was OK.
  3. Despite the fact that it doesn’t ever work that well, the Bears love that wildcat formation with Matt Forte.
  4. As color man Ronde Barber repeatedly pointed out the Vikings really tacklie well.
  5. This was a miserable Bears offensive game for most of the first two quarters. The Bears were afraid to be aggressive with their play calling, probably due to limits to their personnel. I understand being conservative and sticking with the short passing game but that has to be more than wide receiver screens that aren’t working. Cutler finally got off a long pass to Martellus Bennett late in the second quarter and the offense broke out a little bit.
  6. I might also point out that though the wide receiver screens weren’t working, the regular screens to the running back that they started throwing in the third quarter were working. This was a nice adjustment.
  7. Wonderful catch for a touchdown in the corner of the end zone by Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery had a very good game. For some reason the Vikings apparently weren’t giving him a lot of special attention. He was really their only reliable receiver.
  8. It was interesting to see Martellus Bennett line up to block for Matt Forte in the backfield in the third quarter. That might be a good role for him to play on occasion.
  9. I would say that generally this was a typical 2015 Jay Cutler game. Some good movement in the pocket. Some good throws. Some head shakers. All-in-all another decent outing.


  1. Chris Myers is a professional and Ronde Barber is OK but sometimes I think Barber is just the master of the obvious. Not a lot of great insight there and I never feel like I’m learning much. Holly Sonders is fine but I miss Jen Hale
  2. Marc Mariani dropped the first two punts of the game. Robbie Gould hit a 55 yard field goal to open the scoring for the game. Gould missed a field goal in the third quarter that they really could have used. The Viking punt return in the first quarter for a touchdown by Marcus Sherels was the result of some terrible punt return coverage.
  3. This officiating crew called more penalties in the first seven weeks than any other group. Despite that I wouldn’t call the number of penalties in this game excessive. Patrick Omameh had a holding call. Sam Acho had a late, helmet-to-helmet on Bridgewater.
  4. There weren’t a lot of drops in this game but Jeremy Langford had a terrible one in the fourth quarter on what should have been a first down to keep a potential game winning drive alive.
  5. The Bears defensive backfield finally broke out with an important interception by Kyle Fuller. It was a nice play by Fuller on what was a poor decision from Viking QB Teddy Bridgewater.
  6. Players were slipping all over the field despite that fact that the field was supposedly in better shape than usual for this time of year. Apparently the turf was loose. The slipping around continued into the second half indicating that either better cleats couldn’t help of the Bears failed to adjust and change shoes at the half.
  7. Those new KFC commercials with the new “Cornel Sanders” are hilarious.
  8. This was the kind of ball control football game that defensive head coaches like Mike Zimmer and John Fox dream about. Zimmer tried to use Adrian Peterson to wear down a Bears defense that flat out refused to do anything special to stop the him. On the other side the Bears, in particular, did a good job of executing and holding the ball, especially in the second half, allowing the defense to rest and keeping Peterson off the field. That they managed to do it with patchwork offensive and defensive lines and almost no talent on the defensive side of the ball is a miracle. Despite the loss, if you are a Bears fan, you have to like a lot of what you saw today.


Quick Game Comments: Bears at Lions 10/18/15


  1. The Lions come out mixing it up and playing well. They sustained a good, long drive starting at their own 20 yard line and ending with a touchdown. In contrast to recent weeks, they looked ready to play and take care of business. The Bears didn’t do anything fancy in defense, playing both their standard 3-4 and their nickel defense when expected. The Lions simply executed.
  2. Tracy Porter came out on Calvin Johnson as expected. If he was getting any special safety help, it wasn’t evident at first. Later after Porter had some help with Harold Jones-Quartey was bracketing Johnson deep. Kyle Fuller also had a very tough time with Lance Moore. The lack of pressure on Stafford didn’t help (see below). All in all it was a tough game for the defensive backs.
  3. In fairness to Fuller, he did come up aggressively on some quick throws to the outside to make a few good tackles.
  4. Having said that, Harold Jones-Quartey missed a tackle to allow Calvin Johnson to go 43 yards on a drive in the second quarter. Johnson hasn’t looked good this year but he somehow managed to take advantage of the Bears defense, which was playing zone on the play.
  5. Jones-Quartey wasn’t the only one who wasn’t tackling well. For the first time all season I can say that there was some bad tackling out there pretty much all over on occasion.
  6. The Bears had trouble getting pressure on Stafford over a much maligned offensive line. They were running stunts but the Lions were blocking it well.
  7. As with the pass protection, I thought the Lions offensive line did a good job blocking the run. All in all the Bears were getting blown back off the line and were having a tough time getting off of blocks. Aggressive play behind them helped limit the damage.
  8. I love Ameer Abdulla but was disappointed to once again see him put the ball on the ground again. The Lions got it back but it’s still a problem.
  9. Jeremiah Ratliff was out there but it sure didn’t show.


  1. The Lions came out playing eight in the box on first down. The Bears were glad to take advantage by attacking the edges with a lot of quick screens to the outside. The Bears didn’t abandon the run but the Lions defense was definitely stopping it. The Bears success with the pass eventually loosened them up and Forte saw more room later in the half .
  2. It was funny to watch the Lions come out for the second half because it was like a replay of the first half. They went back to what they started with, putting eight in the box and stopping the run. The Bears eventually went to the pass to beat it. I’d say that the Bears were reasonably successful taking what the Lions gave them, today.
  3. Again, its worth noting that the Lions looked aggressive and ready to play. They weren’t world beaters but to my eye they was still plenty of effort.
  4. Eddie Royal was back in the slot, this time helped out by having Alshon Jeffery back out wide. Royal came to the Bears hoping he could prove that he could play on the outside. But its obvious that the slot is where he belongs and he looks good there.
  5. Jay Cutler was far from perfect with his ball placement again, occasionally making it a lot tougher on his receivers than it should have been. He threw behind his receiver twice near the goal line late in the second quarter – once on a simple wide receiver screen – and the Bears settled for a field goal. Once again I was shaking my head over some throws.
  6. Cutler didn’t see a whole lot of pressure from the Lions front four against a patch work Bears offensive line. Once again, Cutler was very effective moving around the pocket when he did see pressure . On one pass late in the second quarter, he pulled off a near miracle to get away from pressure and throw up a 45 yard jump ball for Alshon Jeffery. Cutler threw some good clutch passes on the Bears last possession in regulation.
  7. The Bears struggled in the red zone today, settling for field goals more often than I’d like. They did score a critical touchdown midway through the fourth quarter but they needed an extra set of downs on what I thought was a questionable defensive holding call to do it.


  1. Chris Myers and Ronde Barber were OK. Again, I didn’t feel like I learned much and Barber gave me the distinct impression that he had some sympathy for the Lions but not enough to really be bothersome. Looking at Jen Hale makes me happy.
  2. I’m getting a little tired of watching other kickers put the ball out of the end zone while Robbie Gould kicks it short. Marc Mariani had a nice return in the second quarter but it was the usual story as it was brought back by a holding penalty. On the good side, the Bears recovered two muffed punts, one in the third quarter and one in the fourth in what was some poor special teams play by the Lions. The Lions pulled out a nicely timed fake punt in the fourth quarter to help make up for some of it.
  3. Walt Coleman’s crew had the fewest called penalties in the league going in to this game but apparently the Bears were out to ruin their record. Will Sutton was offsides, eliminating a sack from Jonathan Anderson. Sam Acho had a damaging face mask penalty on a Lions touchdown drive in the second quarter. Kyle Long had two holding penalties which put the Bears offense in a hole, one in the second quarter and one in the third. The Bears lost a first down in the third quarter on an Alshon Jeffery hold. Jeffery also had a pass interference in the red zone in the fourth quarter. He made up for it with a nice touchdown catch a play later. Fuller had a bad pass interference penalty in the fourth quarter to put the Lions into the red zone. For the Lions, Glover Quin had an unnecessary roughness call in the second quarter. They lost a touchdown on and offensive pass interference call on Calvin Johnson. It looked like a bad call to me, though. Josh Bynes had a bad holding call on Alshon Jeffery in the end zone to give the Bears four new downs in the red zone. Forte put the ball into the end zone.
  4. It felt like there were so many penalties in over time I stopped counting.  Suffice it to say I thought it was sloppy.
  5. There weren’t that many drops but Tim Wright had a bad one midway through the fourth quarter with the Lions down 31-24. Golden Tate also had a drop in the red zone on a ball thrown behind him in the red zone in the fourth quarter. Eddie Royal had a bad drop in over time.
  6. Jonathan Anderson almost came up with a huge interception late in the second quarter in the end zone. Great play by Kyle Fuller stripping the ball on that play. Unfortunately the call on the field was reversed and the referees awarded the Lions a touchdown on the field. That non-turnover meant as much to this game as any real turnover did. Good for Anderson for getting another one in the fourth quarter as Matthew Stafford pulled a Cutler on a badly thrown, soul-crushing interception deep in Detroit territory. Cutler had a third quarter interception in the end zone on a bad throw which cost the Bears at least three points.
  7. With the score at 24-22 early in the fourth quarter, I was pretty surprised to see the Bears kick the extra point rather than go for two. I con’t see the downside to going for it. It will be interesting to hear John Fox’s explanation after the game. They successfully went for two after scoring a touchdown later in the quarter.
  8. On the Lion’s side, kicking the field goal with less than three minutes to play on 4th and four in the red zone was a head scratcher. They did have three time outs and the Bears did have to run the ball to try to run the clock out. Nevertheless, it wasn’t the decision that I would have made. But I guess it worked out.
  9. The last Lions possession in regulation was a circus. There was a devastating intentional grounding call with 45 second left in the game on what I thought was a simple cross up between Stafford and Golden Tate. That was followed by a tough roughing the passer call against Pernell McPhee. Calvin Johnson finally put an end to it with a good six yard touchdown catch from Stafford.
  10. Though it was far from perfect, this was a pretty good football game to watch. These were reasonably well-matched, competitive teams, one that has a bad habit of turning the ball over and the other that has a bad habit of shooting itself in the foot with penalties. I thought both teams played hard, though. That was especially notable from the Lions, who some speculated might simply throw in the towel on a disappointing season after starting 0-5. There are worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon than watching these two teams play ball.

Quick Comments: Bears at Chiefs 10/11/15


  1. As had been their habit, the Bears came out in a double tight end set. They continued to run the ball on first down but limited success forced the to pass predominantly on the other downs.
  2. The Bears relied heavily on wide receiver screens and quick throws to the outside. Otherwise they stuck to short throws and the running game. It’s possible that they didn’t trust the offensive line to protect Jay Cutler.
  3. The offensive line was under siege in pass protection. They did a little better in blocking the run but overall it wasn’t a good day for the unit.
  4. Having said that, I thought Kyle Long generally held his own. Long’s getting better every game. Neither Long nor Charles Leno got much chip help from the tight ends.
  5. Rookie center Hroniss Grasu got blown up on a sack that turned into a touchdown as Jay Cutler fumbled in the end zone. The knock on Grasu is that he’s undersized and needs a year in the weight room. He was just plain overpowered on the play. He also was frequently pushed into the backfield when run blocking, as well. The Chiefs tried to confuse the Grasu and offense by crowding the line with a fair bit of blitzing. I’d say it was success. Grasu had a rough day.
  6. Speaking of the blitz, the Chiefs were apparently doing a good job of taking away Cutler’s hot receiver when the they brought the house. Cutler apparently had nowhere to go with the ball.
  7. To Adam Gase’s credit, it didn’t take long for him to counter the Chief’s blitzes, especially on third down. He went to the screen pass as soon as it became apparent that was the plan.
  8. The Bears did a good job juggling snaps between the three running backs. It seemed like everyone got their carries.
  9. Cutler was up and down. Sometimes he makes some wonderful throws, as he did on a 33 yard pass to Marquess Wilson near the end of the third quarter and on another 22 yarder to Wilson for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Otherwise, though, he had a rough game accuracy-wise with a fair number of passes that left me shaking my head. Once again, I certainly can’t complain with the two minute drive to win the game.
  10. Martellus Bennett had a tough game. The Chiefs did a good job of playing tight coverage on him and limiting his effectiveness as Cutler’s only really good receiving option outside of Matt Forte.
  11. I thought the pass interference penalty that set up the game winning TD pass was a good call as Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters turned late and didn’t make a play on the ball.  But I admit it was questionable.


  1. The Bears played a great deal of nickel today, especially in the first half. You have to wonder if the injury to safety Antrel Rolle had something to do with that. Things changed in the second half as they started pounding the Bears with the run and the Bears went more with their base 3-4.
  2. Kansas City relied heavily on the short passing game as is their habit. The Bears countered by running more zone defense than usual, presumably to limit the run after the catch.
  3. I spent a good part of the first half wondering why the Chiefs weren’t handing the ball off to Jamaal Charles more, especially given the fact that is a standard way to beat the kind of nickel zone defense the Bears were running. They finally tried to get him going in the second quarter and he did well until leaving with an injury in the third.
  4. Very interesting to watch Charles run. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a runner who is better at pressing the hole and using his blockers.
  5. Smith got rid of the ball fast but the few times he held the ball the Bears got some pressure on him over a much maligned Kansas City offensive line. They didn’t resort much to the blitz.
  6. Tracy Porter pretty much gave up the second Kansas City touchdown himself by aggressively attacking De’Anthony Thomas to the inside. Thomas ran to the outside and there was no one out there to stop him. It was one of a number of missed tackles and bad angles taken by the Bears defense over the course of the day.
  7. Kansas City has made a living attacking the middle of the field against other teams and they did a fair job of taking advantage of Shea McClellin today. But they seemed to like passing the ball out to the edge better today. It’s possible that they were targeting the Bears lack of speed on defense.
  8. Kansas City also tried to target nickel back Sherrick McManis by putting Jeremy Maclin in the slot. It was successful as Maclin had a pretty good day (8 catches, 85 yards) up until he bobbled the ball with 2 seconds left in the game to turn a 57 yard field goal into a 66 yard attempt.
  9. I thought Willie Young came on to show some people what he could do today. The Bears have gotten very little in pass rush from the linebacker position on the other side of Pernell McPhee and I’m wondering if we might not see more of him in the future.


  1. Sam Rosen isn’t the best play-by-play man to have for an NFL game. John Lynch did a surprisingly good job with what I thought were some insightful comments. Pam Oliver was her usual self – which is fine.
  2. One again, the punt return team had a holding penalty in the first quarter. That’s become a problematic habit. The Kansas City punt return team took their turn with a block in the back in the second quarter.
  3. Far too many penalties again for the Bears as they had 6 for 49 yards with much of that coming in the first half. Zack Miller had a false start. So did Charles Leno. Leno also had a hands to the face call. Martellus Bennett had a hold. Sherrick McManis got caught holding Jeremy Maclin in the second quarter. There was a critical face mask penalty on the kick coverage team with 11 seconds left in the game.
  4. Too many drops for a team that can’t afford to have any. Martellus Bennett was responsible for a lot of them including a critical one on the last drive in the fourth quarter. Kansas City also had their share of problems with drops. Jeremy Maclin had one. Jamaal Charles had another.
  5. As far as turnovers go, they don’t get much worse than the Cutler fumble in the endzone to give up the touchdown. I’d say that got the Chiefs going and set the tone as much as anything. To their credit, neither team had any more.
  6. This was a nice win for the Bears and their improving defense.  Its said that this is a coaches league.  The Bears are showing themselves to be well coached as they overcame a big talent deficit to pull this one out.

Quick Comments: Raiders at Bears 10/4/15


  1. The Bears once again came out in a double tight end set, not hiding at all what they wanted to do. The difference this time? On second and seven they threw the ball with Jay Cutler back at quarterback against an Oakland defensive backfield that’s been a tire fire this year. And they kept doing it.
  2. Oakland was playing man under defense and for the most part the Bears attacked it with underneath passes to Martellus Bennett and Eddie Royal.
  3. Jay Cutler had forever to throw the ball as he got very good protection in the first half. This was partly a function of some nice effort along the offensive line, some nice movement in the pocket by Cutler, and the fact that the Raiders came out very flat. The last thing on that list didn’t last long as the Raiders got themselves in gear on the second Bears possession. Cutler’s mobility continued to be the difference for much of the game.
  4. Cutler was up and down. Sometimes he was reasonably accurate but he threw some duds that really had me shaking my head, especially in the second half. I certainly can’t complain about the two minute drill that won the game.
  5. The run blocking was adequate but its worth noting that the Bears had two shots near the goal line in the second quarter and couldn’t get the ball in. They’re obviously stil not a power team.
  6. The passing game was helped a great deal by the Bears putting Royal into the slot where he belongs. His quickness is his strength and he looked excellent this game.
  7. Marquess Wilson finally had a good game, as well. After a season and a quarter, its about time he showed up.
  8. Jacquizz Rogers was first off the bench in place of Matt Forte despite the fact that rookie Jeremy Langford was the one who didn’t get a snap last week. To my eye Langford is running better.
  9. Charles Leno held his own for the most part, as the Bears didn’t seem to go out of their way to give him tight end help. Patrick Omameh, who replaced Matt Slauson at left guard after Slauson took over at center for an injured Will Montgomery, is a different story as he struggled. Slauson tried to help him as much as he could.
  10. How Martellus Bennett ends up all alone in the end zone in the second quarter I have no idea. But that’s and inexcusable breakdown in coverage. Good job by Cutler finding him in coverage.
  11. Kudos to Bennett. the game for the Bears was mostly Forte left, Forte right, Bennett for the first down. He was a very dependable target on third down.


  1. The Bears really didn’t do anything fancy on defense in the first half. It was the standard 3-4 and standard nickel with very little blitzing. I thought the pressure was adequate but the coverage was occasionally poor as Amari Cooper had a big game.
  2. The Bears used Tracy Porter on Cooper rather than last year’s preference for such assignments, Kyle Fuller. Porter struggled.
  3. Latavius Murray is one impressive back. With his upright running style, I haven’t seen anyone who reminds me so much of Matt Forte – with more power. He was a total mismatch for the Bears linebackers.
  4. Pernell McPhee once again had a good game today as was Sam Acho taking over for the now departed Jared Allen on the other side.
  5. The defensive line was stout as well. Jarvis Jenkins got his third sack of the year. That’s a career high, folks. Mich Unrein spent some quality time out on the field.
  6. J’Marcus Webb had no pre-snap penalties, as was his habit when he was with the Bears. He had his share of problems but the move to guard was a good idea from the Jets.
  7. The Bears were tackling well today.
  8. I would say that Derek Carr had an average day at best. He was more inaccurate than he has been most of the season and, like Cutler, there were some passes in the second half that left me shaking my head. He did hit some big throws, though, and he’s got a quick release with some zip on the ball.


  1. I would say that Greg Gumbel andJamie Erdahl were competent. I wasn’t overly thrilled with Trent Green. No real great insight into the game but I felt like most of the obvious points were covered. I can’t say that I learned much.
  2. Major disadvantage of watching a game on CBS? The lame commercials for some very lame TV crime “dramas” that only my 70-something year old father and mother could bear to watch.
  3. The Bears special teams woes continued. Robbie Gould was off today with a new holder in Spencer Lanning, a blocked extra point that didn’t look like it was on course anyway, and a short kickoff that bounced out of bounds. And that was just the first quarter. Gould kept kicking short pop ups, a strategy I don’t agree with. Gould had a great 54 yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
  4. The Bears just commit too many penalties for their style of play. And seven is too many. The return team found a new way to screw things up with a holding call in the first quarter. And in the second quarter. Leno had a holding call. Zack Miller had on near the goal line as well. Vlad Ducasse had his usual pre-snap false start as well. He also had a holding call that was declined.Having said that, there were some very questionable calls on the Bears this game. A hands to the face call in the third quarter didn’t even look like there was anything even close to the Raiders receiver’s head and there was a delay of game for “spiking the ball” in the fourth quarter looked very questionable.
  5. A lot of drops in this game. Josh Bellamy dropped a touchdown pass in the first quarter. Eddie Royal had a drop. Wilson had a critical drop in the fourth quarter on the final drive.
  6. Like the penalties, needless to say this Bears team can afford no turnovers. Cutler fumbled a snap with a new center in Slauson giving the ball ot Oakland at the Bears 25. That resulted in a touchdown. Pernell McPhee got a gift interception near the end of the first half. That resulted in a field goal. Matt Forte fumbled the ball near the beginning of the second half, killing what looked to me like some building Bears momentum. Acho had a huge recovery of a Murray fumble in the fourth quarter as the Raiders were driving for a go ahead field goal. Cutler, of course, threw his usual pick to old friend Charles Woodson in the fourth quarter. The ball was behind Bennett.
  7. This was an awful game for banged up Raiders. There were bodies with white jerseys littering the ground for all four quarters. Some of them like Michael Crabtree and Latavius Murray came back but even they were nicked up pretty good. The Bears lost Montgomery and Antrel Rolle.
  8. Lots and lots of very loud Raiders fans filling in the empty seats at this game. This is what happens when you price out the faithful and sell the seats to faint-heart upper-middle class yuppies.
  9. There was a lot to like about this game and I tried to list as many as I could above. Honestly, I’m really happy with the win.But I can’t help it I have to point out that the Bears have to play with more discipline if they are going to continue with this type of game plan. Ball control offense with plenty of runs and a short passing game is fine, especially against a team like the Raiders that has allowed tight ends to run rough shod over them for four games now. But the Bears can’t have these penalties and they can’t turn the ball over. They won’t beat good teams this way.


Quick Game Comments: Chicago at Seattle 9/27/15


  1. The Bears came out ready to run with triple tight ends on the first possession. They packed into tight formations and made no secret of what they were doing. Of course, the Seahawks were expecting that and were ready for it. This game was always going to be about keeping the Seattle offense off the field and resting the Bears defense as much as possible.
  2. Matt Forte ran well with very good vision. He was slipping well through small cracks in the offensive line.
  3. The Seahawks rushed the passer well this game. Something that, once again, wasn’t unexpected with the crowd noise and given that the Bears were only passing in obvious situations. The Seahawks were pinning their ears back and going after Jimmy Clausen. The Bears offensive line had a lot of trouble with the blitz.
  4. Clausen didn’t respond well to the pressure today. He took a lot of hits and didn’t make the throws that he had to when he did. They needed him at his best and he wasn’t accurate enough. Of course, once they fell behind too far in the fourth quarter and had to throw, it was a disaster.
  5. I was darned impressed with the blocking of Martellus Bennett at tight end. Truth be told there were some good demonstrations of some good fundamentals up front all game.
  6. The Bears ask their linemen to make some tough blocks on the back side in the run game. Seattle was really taking advantage of that with their quickness as guys occasionally came through the line unblocked.
  7. Jaquizz Rogers got the carries instead of Jeremy Langford in the first half this game. trying to keep everyone happy, I guess.


  1. The Seahawks wasted no time throwing the ball to Jimmy Graham on the first play. Things haven’t been going well for Graham and by that standard he had a decent game.
  2. The Bears got plenty of pressure on Russell Wilson. The Seahawks have struggled all season on the offensive line and the Bears took advantage. Jarvis Jenkins really came alive. Pernell McPhee was worth every penny. The team got their first sacks of the season.
  3. The run defense wasn’t bad until the offense started leaving them out on the field in the second half. then they simply wore down.
  4. The inside linebackers once again had a poor game. They weren’t making plays, were fooled by play action far too often and did a poor job in coverage. Frankly, I was surprised that they weren’t burned more than they were. Probably teams are so busy taking advantage of the lack of speed in the defensive backfield that they haven’t had to pick on them. Something has to be done there.
  5. I was impressed by the way that the Bears tackled today. They showed some good fundamentals.
  6. The Bears did a good job of keeping Wilson from burning them too badly with his mobility. It was a good pass rush and though there were holes, there was some discipline to it.
  7. Marshawn Lynch ran like his usual physical self once he got himself on to the field after having some hamstring trouble. However, he didn’t come back for the second half so it must have been pretty problematic.
  8. I don’t really understand the Seattle game plan. Arizona killed the Bears with deep passing last week as the burned the Bears defensive backs continually. Yet the Seahawks went to a ball control game that never called for a deep pass on first down. Did the Seahawks not watch any film last week? Eventually they started to take advantage of the mismatches but it took them almost a half to adjust.
  9. I was totally baffled by the defense at the end of the first half that put eight men in the end zone. It was obvious that there was time for at least three plays. I think that someone forgot that Seattle still had two timeouts.


  1. Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, and Tracy Wolfson did a nice job. You could almost feel Simms willing the Bears to make this a good game and he was pretty kind to them. I think he, like the rest of us, recognized that the Bears were out classed and he wanted to see a good effort by the underdogs rewarded.
  2. Clever fake on a punt return in the first quarter by the Seattle return team. Richard Sherman took the ball all by himself on the left as returner Tyler Lockett ran to the right. Shouldn’t the punt coverage team know what direction the kick is supposed to go? There was also more trouble on kick coverage as Lockett opened the second half with a 108 yard touchdown return.
  3. The Bears had to be virtually penalty free to have a chance in this game. They were far from it. Every penalty took away an opportunity to concentrate on the run game and put the game into the hands of Jimmy Clausen and a helpless offensive line protecting him. Vlad Ducasse had yet another pre-snap penalty. Right guard is a serious issue. If the Bears were going to put up with this kind of play, more and more I’m wondering whether they wouldn’t have been better off developing Charles Leno – who saw time at left tackle with Jermon Bushrod out with a concussion.
  4. Horrible call by the referee on a Bears punt in the second quarter. The ball was absolutely touched by a Seattle player and recovered in bounds.
  5. Drops weren’t really a factor. Josh Bellamy dropped one in the second quarter on a third down that probably would have been short of the marker anyway.
  6. Turnovers weren’t an issue today.
  7. I was a little surprised by the decision not to go for it on 4th and less than a yard near mid-field late in the third quarter and down by 20 point. John Fox is a defensive head coach and I guess he’d always rather put the game in the hands of his defense.
  8. To all of you who have been calling for the Bears to trade Matt Forte for the last three years, you can kiss my [donkey].
  9. Every fan, Chicago or not, knew that the Bears had zero chance in this game. It was just a question of whether they could keep it respectable. To their credit, the Bears looked like a professional defense most of the time and I was encouraged by the play of several defenders, especially Pernell McPhee, and by the run blocking along the offensive line when the whole stadium knew that was what the Bears had to do. It was a good, if somewhat obvious, ball control game plan offensively. The team simply had to be more disciplined to execute it.


Quick Comments: Late Sunday Afternoon Games

Baltimore – Oakland

  • Oakland surprised me this game by taking Baltimore head on at the line of scrimmage and they competed very well.
  • Quarterback Derek Carr once again had a good game this week (30/46 for 351 yes). Significantly, he got good protection.
  • In contrast, Joe Flacco (32/45, 384 yds) did not have a good game. He saw a lot of pressure and missed a lot of throws he ordinarily makes.

Dallas – Philadelphia

  • The story of this game was how ugly it was for the Eagle offense. Demarco Murray had a terrible game as the Cowboys keyed on him every time he entered the game. The Eagle offensive line was awful, allowing the Cowboys defensive line to penetrate at will. Eventually the Eagles had some success attacking the edges and getting away from the interior defensive penetration.
  • I saw some pretty poor tackling from the Eagles in this game. Tough to stop the run that way.
  • Surprisingly, I also was less than impressed with some of the blocking from the vaunted Cowboys offensive line. The Eagles were getting plenty of penetration against them at times. The Cowboys did better after wearing the Eagles down late in the game, a bi-product of an Eagle offense that gets the defense back on the field quickly when things aren’t clicking.
  • Tony Romo went down hard on a sack and a fumble. Before any report was made you could tell that it had broken collar bone written all over it. Its Brandon Weeden time. For a while.
  • Tweet of the day:

Miami – Jacksonville

  • Jacksonville took advantage of some poor defensive backfield play from Miami. Brice McCain looked particularly bad. This is something that the Dolphins are going to want to take a close look at in the coming week.
  • Blake Bortles’ (18/33 273 yds) accuracy and ball placement leaves a lot to be desired. For a highly touted up and coming quarterback, I was unimpressed this game. Sometimes he flashes some of that potential but its time for him to fish or cut bait this year with some consistency.
  • Right now Ndamukong Suh looks very over paid. He’s not making the plays we saw him make in the NFC North despite often being double teamed.
  • On the other hand, Jacksonville got all kinds of pressure on Ryan Tannehill (30/44 359 yds). This was the first sign of problems for the season on a much – maligned Miami offensive line. Brandon Albert left the game in the first half and ws replaced by Jason Fox, which obviously didn’t help.
  • Olivier Vernon should be ashamed of himself for a late personal foul call that badly damaged Miami’s chances of getting the ball back with time to score.